Emma Raducanu suffers injury scare as slippery court stops play in all-British battle

Emma Raducanu vs Katie Boulter suspended over wet surface in Nottingham Open semi-final
Emma Raducanu suffered an awkward fall - PA/Mike Egerton

Emma Raducanu’s gripping late-night attempt to reach the Rothesay Open final had to be halted because of safety concerns after she suffered a heavy fall.

Raducanu will have to come back on Sunday, one set up after a marathon first set tie-break which she took 15-13, to complete her semi-final with Katie Boulter.

With the Nottingham Centre Court greasy due to heavy rainfall throughout the day, the decision was taken to suspend play by the umpire just before 8pm to the disappointment of a patient crowd.

But with Raducanu having slipped twice on the same spot, twisting her knee the first time in a nasty tumble in the tie-break, the former US Open champion looked happy to call it a night after prompting a review of the court. She has missed enough tennis to risk another injury with Wimbledon on the horizon.

Emma Raducanu suffers injury scare before Nottingham Open semi-final suspended over wet surface
Emma Raducanu was in discomfort after her fall - Getty Images/Nathan Stirk

The physio was initially called after she walked gingerly to her chair following the slip which happened at the back of the court as she changed direction mid-point but she was able to continue without medical attention.

She was 4-1 down in the tie-break at the time but came back to take the set after Boulter had double-faulted on set point at 10-9. It was one of three set points the defending champion wasted although it took Raducanu six attempts to nail one of hers.

There was nothing in it as a contest with the 79-minute set going with serve up until the tie-break. Raducanu put Boulter under intense pressure on her serve in the fifth game but the 27-year-old saved four break points to hold. Raducanu then saved two in the next game on her serve, serving out with a cry of satisfaction and a clenched fist.

Taking the tie-break sets Raducanu up with an inviting opportunity to set up a shot at what would be her first WTA title but it would be unwise to write Boulter off. She has plenty of motivations, one of which is to prove the point that she really is the true British No 1.

Another is the chance of a repeat of the romantic double she and boyfriend Alex de Minaur pulled off in March when they won titles on the same weekend, Boulter at the San Diego Open – her first WTA500 event – and De Minaur at the Mexican Open. The Australian, who Boulter watched during the rain delay, is through to the final of the Libema Open in Holland.

It was only the second meeting of Raducanu and Boulter’s careers with the previous one coming in India in 2019 when Raducanu, a set down at the Solapur tournament, pulled out through injury. If that has been the story of her career either side of the extraordinary win at the 2021 US Open then Nottingham has shown what a fit Raducanu can deliver. She has looked impressive, both in the vigour of her groundstrokes and her movement around the court.

Although she won her quarter-final by default when Fran Jones withdrew with a shoulder injury on Saturday morning, there was plenty to like in her victories over Ena Shibahara and Daria Snigur in earlier rounds.

Pulling out of French Open qualifying had critics questioning her priorities but it has allowed her to put in the preparation she needed for the grass-court season and she has looked good in her first appearance since the limp showing at the Madrid Open six weeks ago.

Whatever transpires, Raducanu’s run in Nottingham will move her back into the world’s top 200. Small beer for a grand slam maybe but a tentative step in the right direction.

It has not been the easiest tournament to be part of for any of the players, what with the constant rain delays. If heatstroke was an issue early on at the event 12 months ago, rust has been more of a danger this time around.

The morning action was washed out and there was a further interruption in the afternoon with Karolina Pliskova one game away from knocking out No 1 seed Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian fought back to level when they returned but after a two-hour and 33-minute cliffhanger, Pliskova prevailed 7-5 in the final set. There was no time left though to play her semi-final against France’s Diane Parry which will also be carried over to Sunday.

Former champion Dan Evans had to move to the indoor courts because of problems with No 1 Court and it turned out to be a graveyard as he was knocked out of the men’s Challenger event by Charles Broom. The 26-year-old qualifier eliminated the second seed 3-6, 6-3 6-2 after winning the first eight points of the deciding set for the biggest win of his career.

Broom faces Billy Harris in an all-British semi-final with another Brit, Jake Fearnley taking on Italy’s Mattia Bellucci in the other outstanding last four tie.

Slippery court stops play as Raducanu leads Boulter, as it happened...

08:30 PM BST

Busy Sunday at the Nottingham Open

The wet weather means the first semi-final between Diane Parry and Karolina Pliskova needs to start before the semi-final between Raducanu and Boulter resumes.

Then the final can be played after a suitable break.

08:20 PM BST

Reaction on social media

08:14 PM BST

Concern for Raducanu

Emma Raducanu suffers injury scare before Nottingham Open semi-final suspended over wet surface
Emma Raducanu will hope her knee injury is not serious - PA/Mike Egerton

08:02 PM BST

WATCH: The final point before play was suspended

07:57 PM BST

Match suspended

After winning the set, Raducanu tells the umpire that the court is too wet. The tournament referee comes out and wipes her hand on the court.

Raducanu takes a seat and the referee walks over to Boulter and tells her that one side of the court is more slippery than the other and says they don’t want to take any risks so they are suspending the match.

Emma Raducanu suffers injury scare before Nottingham Open semi-final suspended over wet surface
Emma Raducanu speaks with officials before play is suspended - Getty Images/Nathan Stirk

07:53 PM BST

Raducanu 7-6 Boulter - TIEBREAK

Boulter first serve unreturned by Raducanu, 12-13. Raducanu first serve unreturned by Boulter, 13-13.

Boulter forehand long, 14-13. Cat and mouse rally, Raducanu comes out on top with an overhead winner, 15-13.

07:49 PM BST

‘Crowd are getting full value’

The crowd are getting full value for their patience on another trying day in Nottingham with this epic battle of the Brits.

It’s not an easy shift though. One woman is huddled under a light blue blanket in a woolly hat with just her nose showing.

Can’t blame her.

07:49 PM BST

Raducanu 6-6 Boulter - TIEBREAK

Raducanu nets a drop shot, 9-10. Boulter double fault, 10-10. She can’t believe it. Boulter forehand into the net, 11-10. Fourth set point for Raducanu...

Mis-hit by Raducanu, the ball sits up nice for Boulter, who whips a lovely forehand into the corner for a winner, 11-11.

Boulter goes long with a forehand, 12-11. Brilliant serve by Boulter down the T, 12-12.

Nothing to separate these two women.

07:44 PM BST

Raducanu 6-6 Boulter - TIEBREAK

Boulter forehand winner, 6-7. She then misses with a backhand to waste a set point, 7-7. Unreturned Raducanu serve down the T, 8-7. 

Raducanu backhand return long, 8-8. Backhand approach by Boulter isn’t good enough and that allows Raducanu to make the forehand pass, 9-8. Wow. Incredible forehand down the line by Boulter catches the angle of tramline and baseline, 9-9.

On we go...

07:41 PM BST

‘Huge relief’

Huge relief around Centre Court that Raducanu’s slip didn’t lead to anything worse than a quick sit-down and drink.

The physio was called but when Raducanu rose from her chair, not needing attention there was a warm round of applause.

07:40 PM BST

Raducanu 6-6 Boulter - TIEBREAK

Defensive Boulter backhand goes wide, 3-4. Raducanu’s movement seems to be OK...

Boulter double fault, 4-4. Backhand by Boulter drifts wide, 5-4. Four points in a row for Raducanu.

Boulter hits back with a forehand winner, 5-5. Raducanu gets low and crushes a backhand winner, 6-5. 

Big first serve, high Raducanu return and Boulter puts away the drive forehand winner easily, 6-6.

07:35 PM BST

Raducanu 6-6 Boulter - TIEBREAK

Drop shot by Boulter, Raducanu chases down the ball but her flicked shot down the line is called out, 0-1. Raducanu looks unconvinced by the ball. Raducanu forehand long, 0-2. Boulter forehand return into the net, 1-2.

Another forehand long by Raducanu, 1-3. Boulter forehand winner wrong foots Raducanu, who slips awkwardly, 1-4.

She calls for the physio to look at her left knee. The last thing she needs is another injury. But Raducanu decides to carry on without the physio and on the next point strikes a nice forehand into the corner, 2-4.

Emma Raducanu suffers injury scare before Nottingham Open semi-final suspended over wet surface
Emma Raducanu slipped on the wet surface at the back of the court - Reuters/Peter Cziborra

07:29 PM BST

Raducanu 6-6 Boulter*

Fitting that this evenly fought first set goes to a tie break as Raducanu holds to 15 when Boulter dumps a backhand into the net.

Now the pressure will ramp up!

07:24 PM BST

Raducanu* 5-6 Boulter

Boulter continuing to look very calm and composed on her serve at the moment as she moves to 40-15. Raducanu will be frustrated by the amount of returns she has failed to get back into play.

But a backhand into the net by Boulter opens the door slightly for Raducanu at deuce. Boulter though responds to the pressure, finding her first serve to see out the game.

07:18 PM BST

Raducanu 5-5 Boulter*

Great hustle by both players but Raducanu comes out on top. Great return by Boulter, Raducanu some how gets the ball back and Boulter races for the short ball and hits drop shot. But she doesn’t do enough because Raducanu chases it down and flicks a backhand into the open court for a winner, 30-15.

Raducanu forehand down the line is too hot for Boulter and she holds serve.

07:13 PM BST

Raducanu* 4-5 Boulter

Back-to-back love holds for Boulter. Raducanu is struggling to read the direction of the British No 1’s serve. Pressure now on Raducanu to hold serve and prolong the set.

07:10 PM BST

Raducanu 4-4 Boulter*

Raducanu appears to have the upper hand when the rally goes beyond five shots. Her backhand is holding up well with the low bounce on the grass court. Raducanu holds to 15.

Emma Raducanu vs Katie Boulter: Scores and updates from Nottingham Open semi-final
Katie Boulter in action - Reuters/Peter Cziborra

07:07 PM BST

Raducanu* 3-4 Boulter

Love hold for Boulter. Still waiting for the match is come alive but as we enter the business end of the set, the tension should increase.

Both players are performing solidly without taking control and dominating.

07:03 PM BST

Raducanu 3-3 Boulter*

Raducanu under a little bit of pressure here as she slips to 0-30 with a double fault. She gets back into the game when Boulter pushes a backhand long but faces two break points when a backhand is called long. Raducanu questions it but the call stands.

Boulter wastes the first break point with a forehand return into the net. And Raducanu saves the second when she takes charge of the point, moving Boulter right then left before Boulter’s defensive backhand flies wide.

Big roar of ‘come on’ by Raducanu as she holds onto her serve.

Emma Raducanu vs Katie Boulter: Scores and updates from Nottingham Open semi-final
Emma Raducanu in action - PA/Mike Egerton

06:57 PM BST

Raducanu* 2-3 Boulter

One of the stories at the Nottingham Open this week has been contentious line calls. In back-to-back points, Raducanu and Boulter glance at the line judges over close calls.

Break point for Raducanu after a brilliant backhand winner. Boulter responds with a great wide serve which Raducanu fails to get back into play.

That gets the crowd going. Super rally by both players. Longest of the match and Raducanu earns another break point when Boulter nets a backhand. But once again Boulter responds with a timely first serve that’s unreturned.

And the British No 1 comes through that scare to hold serve and maintain her lead.

06:46 PM BST

Raducanu 2-2 Boulter*

Serve is king at the moment as Raducanu holds to love quickly. Raducanu’s slightly tweaked serve has started very strongly.

06:44 PM BST

Raducanu* 1-2 Boulter

Back to back aces from Boulter takes her to 40-15. Although they have never met each other in a match, they have practiced together at the Billie Jean King Cup.

So they will know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

06:41 PM BST

Raducanu 1-1 Boulter*

Raducanu follows Boulter with a hold to 30. Slightly subdued atmosphere with the match yet to catch fire.

06:36 PM BST

First Set: Emma Raducanu* 0-1 Katie Boulter (*denotes next server)

Confident start by Bouler, as she holds to 30, with a couple of unreturned serves helping her along the way.

Both player looking to tee off on their forehand side early on.

06:33 PM BST

Here we go!

After a lot of delays due to rain, we are about to get underway in Nottingham in what should be a fascinating match.

Will be very interesting to see who gets the most support...

06:25 PM BST

First career meeting between Raducanu and Boulter

Emma Raducanu vs Katie Boulter: Scores and updates from Nottingham Open semi-final
Katie Boulter and Emma Raducanu have never played each other before - Getty Images/Aurelien Meunier

01:02 PM BST

Raducanu vs Boulter in all-British semi-final

Hello and welcome to coverage from the Nottingham Open as Emma Raducanu takes on Katie Boulter in a ‘Battle of Britain’ clash.

Raducanu reached her first semi-final since 2022 after Fran Jones withdrew from their quarter-final earlier today due to a shoulder injury.

Raducanu has looked in good form on her return after a six-week hiatus to prepare for the grass-court season, beating Ena Shibahara and Daria Snigur on her way to the last eight.

That set up an all-British blockbuster between Raducanu and defending champion Boulter. Boulter won her quarter-final on Friday as she looks to retain the title she won last year.

Jones was on court on Friday afternoon ready to play Raducanu before rain forced play to be abandoned for the day and she woke up on Saturday and chose to withdraw.

Jones said: “Unfortunately today I’ve had to withdraw from what was an exciting match with Emma.

“Hopefully everyone can understand that with the big events coming up, I’m not in a position to be taking many risks especially with my last couple of years.

“I think it’s a massive shame, I’ve really enjoyed playing this week and I’ve played at a good level, but I need to continue to think big picture which has got me into the place I’m in so far this year.”